We’ve been spending a lot of time at our newest garden at Eric’s sister’s new house. It turns out the previous owner, Wendell, had farmed the yard and sold his produce from his driveway! We’re excited to continue the farming tradition.
We got Eric’s family together on Mothers’ Day to help us plant the narrow plot (pictured above are his parents hard at work). Eric used our walk-behind tiller to carve out the space between each row, then mounded up the rows using a hoe. This also incorporated the compost, gypsum, and organic fertilizer I had added on top of the soil earlier.
For planting tomatoes, we always bury the stem as deep as possible to promote deeper root growth and stability. The timing was perfect. Usually it would’ve been a little late, but this year the weather really delayed everything. The tomatoes we’d planted earlier in Sunset Hills and our Iowa Ave. gardens are stunted compared to these.
With Eric’s family’s help, we planted 60 tomato plants and 40 pepper plants, mulched with grass clippings around each plant, and seeded basil, calendula, and other flowers throughout.
Last week Eric and his folks installed a drip irrigation system for the tomato and pepper plot. The system connects to the exterior hose with a battery-operated timer, which we’ve set to allow water flow for two hours every other day.
We also started planting the big plot last week. Like the narrow plot, Eric used our small tiller to carve out the spaces between rows, then I used a hoe to mound each row up. We mixed in some free leaf compost and seeded the first three rows with several types of salad greens and lettuces because they are shaded by the garage for most of the afternoon.
This is the back of the garden. The squash pictured above were started from seeds I saved from a huge pink banana squash last fall. We also seeded the next row to the right with several varieties of pumpkin and the last row with watermelon and cantaloupe.
As you can see, there’s still lots of space to fill. We’ve got some some sweet potatoes sprouting inside and zucchini plants we started from seed about ready to transplant. We’ve been researching other types of squash to grow, specifically some that are pest and disease resistant.
Also on the agenda: installing drip irrigation for the big plot. We bought the rest of the supplies we need, but we’ll have to set it up in two separate zones and reconfigure the part we already installed. It’ll be worth it though, not only would watering by hand take forever, it’d also be difficult to navigate the hose without running over plants.
This is our biggest contiguous garden space, at about 1/4 acre, but we haven’t neglected our other gardens! More updates to come!